James Jeffery was adamant about exposing a British pregnancy center that performs services such as abortions and the women who have contacted it. So much so that he tried to hack into the center's database 26,000 times -- within six hours.
PC World reports Jeffery, who appears to be a member of the hacker collective Anonymous, was successful at obtaining the names of women who contacted the British Pregnancy Advisory System for information about abortion, sterilization and contraceptives. Although, he did not access not their medical records, he did threaten to expose the names of these women.
Jeffery was arrested last week and plead guilty in court to this infiltration of center's system. According to a statement by the center, Jeffery had also defaced the center's website on March 8, which has since been restored. Here's what the BPAS said in a statement about the hack:
This incident appears to be the most extreme example of what is now a very concerning escalation of anti-abortion activity aimed at providers and women who need their services.
Around 26,000 attempts to break into our website were made over a six hour period, but the hacker was unable to access any medical or personal information relating to women who had received treatment at bpas. The website does store details (names, addresses and phone numbers) of people who have requested information from bpas via the website, including those making personal inquiries as well as health and education professionals, the media and students. These may have been inquiries relating to contraception, pregnancy, abortion, STI testing and sterilisation. Relevant authorities were informed and appropriate legal action taken to prevent the dissemination of any information obtained from the website.
While the confidentiality of women receiving treatment was never in danger, this episode was taken very seriously indeed. A court injunction was obtained to prevent the publication of the data and, in the early hours of this morning an arrest was made.
PC World reports that Jeffery admitted on Twitter that his intent was to release the names he obtained because "they kill unborn children that have no rights. It's murder."
According to News 24, the 27-year-old had obtained 10,000 records of women's names and inquiries.